In1893, a Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument Association was formed. It proposed a triumphal arch at Grand Army Plaza, at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue, however, after opposition it was erected on Riverside Drive. President Theodore Roosevelt laid the cornerstone for the monument in December of 1900. For years the monument was the terminus of New York City’s Memorial Day Parade. This massive circular temple-like monument located along Riverside Drive at 89th Street commemorates Union Army soldiers and sailors who served in the Civil War.
In New York City, the Easter Parade tradition dates back to the mid-1800s, when the upper crust of society would attend Easter services at various Fifth Avenue churches then stroll outside afterward, showing off their new spring outfits and hats. Average citizens started showing up along Fifth Avenue to check out the action.
In 1948, the popular film Easter Parade was released, starring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland and featuring the music of Irving Berlin. The title song includes the lyrics: “In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it/You’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade.”
Easter Parade starting at about 10am and continuing until 4pm, the parade marches north on Fifth Avenue, from 49th Street to 57th Street in Manhattan from 10am-4pm on Easter Sunday. Unlike most New York City Parades, the Easter Parade isn’t an organized event.
When I was growing up my folks always got my brother and me a new suit for Easter.
By the early twentieth century, Americans became more and more invested in the Easter outfit—the hat, in particular. Because Easter coincides with seasonal fecundity, women garnered fresh flowers to wear in their hair and in their bonnets. Lilies, daffodils, azaleas with their red, pink or even crème colored blooms, Hyacinths, purple and white, as well as pussy willows and red tulips are considered traditional Easter flowers
Easter Bonnets can be whimsical, fantastical, with a hint of fabulist narrative, whether religious, seasonal or cultural, all adding to the magic of the hat.
These days, the Easter Bonnet can be wild, They can also be simple and playful, subtly nodding to the Bonnet’s modern tradition with a bunny ear or two. What will your Easter Bonnet hold?
The Easter Bunny – Easter Eggs
Have you ever wondered how a rabbit and chocolate eggs became associated with Easter?
The exact origins of the famous bunny are unclear however many sites have stated that it may have come from pre-Christian Germany. The hare was said to be the symbol of the pagan Goddess of Spring and Fertility, Eostre or Ostara. As anyone who is familiar with hares or rabbits will know, they are a great symbol for fertility as they have great ‘stamina’. The festival of Eostre and the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus soon became intertwined and the Christian holiday Easter was born.
The Germans changed the image of the rabbit into Oschter Haws, a rabbit who would lay a nest of coloured eggs for good children on the night before Easter. As the legend and popularity of Oshter Haws spread throughout the States, he soon became the Easter Bunny.
Easter is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan traditions. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring.
Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.
A good place to walk is in the West VIllage – a section of the city that manages to preserve a low-key, everyone-knows-everyone feel and picturesque charm.
So this journey begins on Christopher Street and meanders along Hudson Street, Washington Street and West 13th Street.
Note: my walks are not meant to be followed literally, rather they are offered as an inspiration for you to create your own adventure.
West 13th Street
Getting a flavor of the area
Original address of the Stonewall Inn, where a raid by the NYPD on June 27, 1969, resulted in a riot led by drag queens that sparked the gay liberation movement.
Lucille Lortel, known as the Queen of Off Broadway, There is a mini-walk of fame outside the theatre featuring famed playwrights. Ed Asner, Jerry Ohrbach, Charlotte Rae, Jerry Stiller and Bea Arthur as well as Sting and Cyndi Lauper have appeared here.
Stonewall National Monument
There is a lovely garden at St. Luke in the fields church at Christopher and Hudson Streets
Today,I traveled to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park to look at 7,000 yellow Pinwheels. The pinwheels — which range from 6 to 11 inches in size — span 2¹/₂ acres of the Rose Garden, a quiet corner of the park.
Students from 40 city schools were asked to submit designs. Several of these were printed and folded into the installation’s bright yellow pinwheels, which are made from a renewable material generated from crushed stones.
The installation is going to close on July 17th.
Interesting enough was that I have never been to Prospect Park in all the years I have visited and lived in NYC. Now that I have broken the ice, I will venture to other boroughs as well.
Saturday, I missed my subway stop and head to go to the next one. Adjust and switch platforms, go back and regroup…End result I had to get off at Herald Square. I walked out of the subway looking straight at Macy’s windows full of flowers. Well it wasn’t my original destination – which was Korea Town – but a look inside had to be done.
This was the first day of the annual Flower Show kicks and runs through April 9. I didn’t spend too much time inside but here is a brief summary. I just explored the main floor and a few of the windows facing Broadway. There were floral displays of bumper cars, roller coasters and a Ferris wheel, all designed a “Carnival” theme. The following photos will walk you through the main aisle of the store.
Many people explore the city by walking near a major tourist attraction, but try venturing a little further away . You may find a greater mix of stores and restaurants that may be more interesting and affordable.
Lately, I took a walk from Lexington Avenue along East 73rd Street heading towards the East River. I did enjoy strolling along the quaint tree-lined blocks, checking out historic townhouses and I ventured up and down the adjacent Avenues to see some stores and restaurants that are less than a block away from 73rd Street.
This blog has mostly store windows (fashion) and one interesting Persian Restaurant. However, in my enjoyment of the walk, I forgot to note where I took many of them.
Colorful men’s wear
Rain in the forecast
For Summer sailing
I could never tie one of these.
I thought these to be very “classy”
Attention Getting Neckware
For three feet ?
I peeked into this little Persian Restaurant only to find that I was too early for lunch.
Well, the adventure is in getting out and finding the world around us…
so enjoy and happy walking!
A little background of the East 70’s area
This portion of the Upper East Side is home to schools like the Hewitt School, P.S. 158, P.S. 267, Eleanor Roosevelt High School along with Marymount Manhattan College and the Allen-Stevenson School.
Much of the old architecture in this part of the Upper East Side is Neo-Renaissance and French neoclassical. Historic, luxurious mansions like the Henry T. Sloane House at 9 E. 72nd St. and the Edward C. Converse Mansion at 3 E. 78th St.
The Henry Clay Frick mansion at 1 E. 70th St. now serves as a museum displaying Fricks art collection.